A Train to the Top

By rack railway to Gornergrat, 3090 m

Zermatt - Gornergrat terminusZermatt is a skiing area that is famous for its transportation facilities. Since more than 100 years the rack railway to Gornergrat does its job. 18 kilometers an hour is the maximum speed for a car on its way to the top so that you will need upto ¾ of an hour to get from Zermatt station to the observatory, even if the car goes non stop. If you hit one of the trains that rest at every stop on the way it is even worse. In former times, if you intended toZermatt - Gornergrat terminus make your way further to Stockhorn you needed about twice the time. Anyway, you have to go this way once if you come to Zermatt, at least the train to Gornergrat. From there you are wise to rush down the slope called Kelle, that leads you strictly down to Gant. From there you take the new cable car to Hohtälli to take the one to Rote Nase. Those who go for skiing will probably prefer the direct way: Sunnegga » Rothorn » Gant » Hohtälli » Rote Nase » Stockhorn.
Rack train to Gornergrat*
Gornergrat terminus. Strait downhill leads to Winkelmatten where you had to take a bus to get back to the station in former times. Today you will probably prefer the Riffelbergbahn. Other slopes descend to Gant, Landtunnel or Riffelalp. Trains from there to to top are slightly slow and boaring, however, if the weather is bad, you might as well appreciate the opportunity to take a rest here, «home and dry».
Zermatt: Gornergrat Observatorium*
Landtunnel is the appropriate station to return to Zermatt if the slopes valleywards are impassable. The train makes slopes accessible, that are more or less wide and easy and of moderate steepness. I've never been uphill to the observatory. In former times you had to go this way to get to Stockhorn to avoid a horrible combination of ski-lifts, Gant/Triftji. The new cable car at Gant, however, gets beginners out of trouble nowadays.